Course Description - MGMT 489B: Practicum in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

The goal of the course - MGMT 489B: Practicum in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management is to take students’ business concepts and business plans and move them ahead to a full business launch.

During the course students will both advance their own projects and act as a sounding board for the projects of fellow students. The course begins by having students put their business idea into a business model canvas for ease of discussion and evaluation. This effort leads to a clarification of the proposed value proposition and customer segments. Following this a web host and domain name are chosen, after which a web site with product or product prototype and focused marketing content is developed. Actual and potential customers are then identified and the proposed value proposition is evaluated and refined. Evaluating and refining the value proposition is accomplished through the customer development process, where customers interact with the product or product prototype. At a point in the customer development process it becomes clear whether the proposed value proposition is viable and the business should move ahead as envisioned, or whether the business concept needs to pivot to address a market that has more clearly emerged; which have different requirements. Following this the cycle is repeated with refinements to the growing business as needed. During the course of the semester we hope to complete as many iterations of this cycle as possible. 

In addition to the business development work, students are expected to produce a research paper. The research paper is designed to advance and deepen your thinking in some area of the coursework. Ideas for research papers can come from the topic areas listed below, and you are also free to propose a topic of interest. Students will give a brief presentation at the end of the semester, demonstrating their business development and research efforts.

Topic Areas for Research Papers

  • Business Model Canvas
  • Customer Value Proposition
  • Getting to Entrepreneur, Business and Product Uniqueness
  • Web Hosting and Domain Names
  • Web Site and Page Design
  • Developing Effective Marketing Content
  • Social Media
  • Running Marketing Campaigns Online and Offline
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Customer Development Process
  • Online Payment Systems
  • Global Talent Sourcing
  • Productivity Tools for Online Businesses

Students are required to have taken MGMT 451 or you may take this concurrently if needed. Please contact David Rahn at with any additional questions.